While Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is enjoying retirement, Nike has continued to carry out his signature shoe line and also integrated it with models under the brand’s umbrella. In 2017, Nike merged Bryant and Kyrie Irving for the release of a ‘Bruce Lee’ Kyrie 3.
Now the Boston Celtics point guard had his Nike Kyrie 5 given treatment from Bryant’s career with a ‘Mamba Mentality’ colorway. The shoe draws inspiration from the “Chaos” Nike Zoom Kobe 5 that Bryant unveiled on Christmas Day in 2009.
Irving’s shoe features the same splatter design on the midsole that the Kobe 5 popularized, and also adds a matching heel cup plastic overlay. Nike took matters a step further by including Bryant’s signature on the back of the right shoe, with Irving’s on the left.
The ‘Mamba Mentality’ Nike Kyrie 5 is due to launch at 7 a.m. on Saturday via the SNKRS app and select retailers. The release date coincides with Nike’s ‘Mamba Day’ (April 13) that was created in recognition of the date of Bryant’s last game.
Also due to release Saturday is a ‘Mamba Day’ version of the Nike PG3. Like Irving, Paul George has often spoke about the inspiration he’s taken from the five-time champion. George designed his latest signature shoe by taking from some of Bryant’s sneakers with Nike.
In an ode to the debut colorway of the Nike Kobe 8 system, George’s latest shoe features a black and yellow geometric design for the upper and a yellow sole. Though, unlike the Kyrie 5, the ‘Mamba Day’ release of the PG3 does not feature any specific references from Bryant.